Naturalist, Postmodernist and Theistic Worldviews

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  • Topic: Metaphysical naturalism, Naturalism, Secularism
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  • Published : November 10, 2012
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NATURALIST, POSTMODERNIST AND THEISTIC WORLDVIEWS
Tracy Evans
Regent University

Abstract
The basic tenants and worldviews of naturalism, postmodernism and Christian theism are explored and how these worldviews have had an effect on the American culture. The philosophical implications and the tensions manifested out of beliefs established from these worldviews and philosophies. What is a Worldview?

Everyone has an outlook on life, a particular way they view the world around them, a way that they find meaning and purpose to life, a method to which we view reality, a worldview. A worldview, according to Sire, in The Universe Next Door (2009), is essentially this: A worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) that we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being. Each person holds an individualized belief that serves as a type of lens in which to understand their reality and how they relate in it, their thoughts on their existence and how they came to be and these views are held whether or not they have been deeply reflected upon or not or whether the person has simply incorporated the values, morals and beliefs from their familial traditions and/or religious backgrounds. The route a person takes to acquire a worldview is varied and very individualized; however, every person comes to hold their very own. Worldviews are reflected in societies and the once theistic Judeo-Christian worldview that served as the moral, ethical, and political framework of America began to shift in the early twentieth century. The emergence of secular ideas and teachings directed at these fundamental principles began weakening society’s commitment to their very foundations. Naturalism, secular humanism, materialism and most recently postmodernism have changed our traditional Judeo-Christian views on morality, politics, ethics, and served to create a culturally indifferent America that is spiritually apathetic and theologically confused. (www.battlefortruth.org, March 8, 2012)

Basic Tenants of Naturalism:

The worldview from the perspective of a Naturalist is a system of thought that rejects all spiritual and supernatural explanations of the world and holds that science is the sole basis of what can be known, and that all religious truth is derived from nature and natural causes, and not from divine revelation. ("Naturalism," 2012) Naturalism is a worldview, a philosophy, a general understanding of reality and humanity’s place within reality. Naturalism is usually defined most briefly as a philosophical conclusion that the only reality is nature, as gradually discovered by our intelligence using the tools of experience, reason and science. (Shook, n.d.). To better understand what naturalism is, we must break it into types: Metaphysical Naturalism and Methodological or Teleological Naturalism are the two types of naturalism that have had a profound impact on Western culture and have served to restructure the worldview of the twentieth century to present. Methodological naturalism is a commitment to particular methods of inquiry for particular, limited purposes. Natural science methods are focused on uncovering physical facts and regularities without prejudging whether physical facts and regularities exhaust reality. (Bishop, 2009). This is the process commonly known in elementary schools across our nation as “the scientific method” and has allowed science to uncover and explain our natural world through testable, proven, physical facts that result in knowledge. The scientific community holds these findings as provisional until new evidence is discovered. In contrast to methodological naturalism is metaphysical naturalism which makes a...
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